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Brian J. Ensley (#47190867)
 member for 5 years, 10 months, 17 days
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Bio and Links
Bio Photo I started out in the Air Force for a short time in the early 1980's, had a 15 year break and now I'm active duty with the PA Army National Guard (AGR) in an Apache (AH-64D) Attack Reconnaissance Battalion (soon to retire). My family has served in the military since the French & Indian War, all from Pennsylvania, down to two of my sons who served in the PA National Guard.

I have been involved with genealogy since around 1982 and have published several books on area cemeteries as well as local history. I finally earned my Master's Degree in 2006. It has been my goal to document as many cemeteries in my area as possible before much of the information is lost to time. Besides transcribing cemeteries I have recently found the value in photographing headstones as a way to help preserve this valuable information for future generations. It seems that most families have that one person who seems to answer a calling in life to be the family historian- I guess that's me as well as for my wife's family.

What I find incredible- I went from using a typewriter and carbon paper in the early 1980's, to now being able to take a photo of a headstone and upload it to this site instantly while in the cemetery, from my iPhone.

If you want to see why what we do is so important and photographing headstones in order to preserve the information for future generations is vital, check out Blough Cemetery to see how a cemetery's condition can change in 15 years. This is NOT a numbers game- Again, it is a quest to preserve our heritage for future generations.

Now for the "Fine Print...:"

1) If you suggest any corrections/links, PLEASE use the edit link on the memorial and include all pertinent information. DO NOT e-mail suggestions, corrections or photo requests directly to me. Also, if I have created a memorial that is a relative, please feel free to ask to have it transferred. Just be sure to include your member number and relationship. If transferred, would appreciate any information that I have added remain intact after transfer. If I do not transfer a memorial, it is only because it is a relative of mine as well, unless you're more closely or directly related.

2) If I have a photo on here, I am the copyright holder unless I cite the source in the caption from another contributor. If it is a photo that I own, please feel free to use it in your own personal family tree such as HOWEVER, on any of my photos, be sure to cite the source to give proper credit.

3) When I add memorials for non-relatives, I try to be as complete and accurate as possible, and I do so with the same care and respect as I would for my own family member.

4) If I post a photo on a memorial in which you had already posted one, please don't take offense- sometimes additional photos under other conditions (ie- light, weather, etc.) can provide a whole different perspective. Many times I've swapped out my own photos when conditions were different the second time around and the new photo had more detail, especially with worn stones. If you are the owner of that memorial and don't want someone else's photos just ask and I will remove it. Likewise, if you have a photo to add to mine that can help enhance the memorial, please feel free to contribute.

5) Please show proper etiquette when it comes to people volunteering their time and gas. A simple thank you goes a long way. If you want multiple monuments photographed, please take the time to create a memorial for each person rather than attach a message to one request asking for multiple photos or "everyone else in that cemetery with the same surname."

6) Through my publisher I have published over a dozen books just on cemetery transcriptions alone, taking the time to carefully transcribe hundreds of cemeteries. I've noticed that people have taken that work to enter memorials "en masse" and are then uncooperative when it comes to transferring, correcting, linking and editing these memorials for family members and other researchers. This is not a numbers game so I would encourage a team approach in this project.

7) I will post obituaries to my memorials as long as the proper citation is made to give the proper credit for the source. If family members want their information private, then they should consider not having it published in the local newspaper/website and funeral home website. There is no legal expectation to privacy when the information has been made public. Death certificates are public record as well. As long as these sources are properly cited there should not be an issue in regards to copyright laws.

8) The mountains of Southwestern Pennsylvania can be brutal during the winter. But with snowbrush in hand, that doesn't keep me from fulfilling requests. Unfortunately the quality of my photos in the winter months isn't normally up to the standard that I set for myself. Please- don't hesitate to ask for a re-take during the summer. Just send me a reminder.

I appreciate all of the hard work my fellow volunteers and contributors have made to this site!
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Contributions to
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 • 34,829 Memorials Added
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 • 70,947 Photos
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Messages left for Brian J. Ensley (2950)[Leave Message]
Blairsville Cemetery
Thanks for all your hard work here an the photos taken.
Added by mygenpassion on Aug 29, 2015 7:04 PM
RE: Rager's at Blairsville
I appreciate the offer but someone closer in relationship may be interested in a transfer. Thanks again.
Added by mygenpassion on Aug 29, 2015 6:48 PM
Darlene Potts-Huyler
Heffelfinger headstone photo, Blairstown Cemeter, PA
Hi Brian. Thank you so much for the photo of William and Catharine's headstone. I'm working on a friend's family history and they will greatly appreciate this Heffelfinger photo!
Darlene Huyler
Added by Darlene Potts-Huyler on Aug 29, 2015 3:50 PM
John Russell Pierson
Verna Overdorff
Thanks for the Overdorff pics!
Added by John Russell Pierson on Aug 29, 2015 12:21 PM
Shirley Bradley
Photo Requests - Hipps
Thanks, Brian. The photos for George and Blanche Hipps are great. Thanks for your extra time and work adding the close-up and the death certificate. Your are a wonderful volunteer for this site.
Shirley Bradley
Added by Shirley Bradley on Aug 29, 2015 10:51 AM
Thank you for the photos.
Added by mygenpassion on Aug 29, 2015 4:02 AM
Dan & Susan Stallings
Henry Ostheim
Thank you so very much for the lovely photos of his gravestone.
Added by Dan & Susan Stallings on Aug 28, 2015 9:34 PM
Gerald Ziants
Thank-you for the photos added to Gerald Ziants memorial
Added by Joanne on Aug 28, 2015 7:39 PM
Kelle Clark
RE: Edits

Hi, been offline a while. Sure, lets get the edits in.
Added by Kelle Clark on Aug 28, 2015 5:27 PM
Susan Carrington Kilgore Wiley
Melvin McGiffin
That was super fast work and I appreciate the photo so much. Many thanks. Susan
Added by Susan Carrington Kilgore ... on Aug 26, 2015 7:40 PM
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